Temporary closure of the New Zealand Stream for Subclass 189.

Zhanna Heenan

Visa News

From 10 December 2022 the New Zealand stream of the Skilled Independent (subclass 189) has been temporarily closed to new applications. The migration regulations have been amended to enable the streamlined processing of the on-hand caseload.

This is a temporary measure that will be in place until 1 July 2023. During this period the Government will consider future migration and citizenship pathways for New Zealand citizens in Australia, reflecting the close ties Australia and New Zealand have.

For now, the Department of Home Affairs will focus on finalising the majority of current applications in the New Zealand stream in the system. A dedicated taskforce has been established to prioritise the processing of this caseload.

Due to the cap for the New Zealand stream applications, most applicants under this stream have been waiting several years for their visa application to be finalised.

The following streamlining measures have been designed to acknowledge that this group of New Zealand citizens are long-term residents of Australia who have been working here and contributing to Australia’s economic recovery during the COVID-19 pandemic. This means that the primary applicants for the New Zealand stream are no longer  required to satisfy the following requirements.

Family members of the primary applicant included in the visa application will also no longer need to satisfy Public Interest Criterion (PIC) 4007 relating to health.



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